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Monroe County

Tr a n s i t i o n R e p o r t
D e l i v e r e d t o C o u n t y E xe c u t i v e A d a m B e l l o
February 11th, 2020
Naysayers will tell you that County government can’t do much
to address our challenges. They’ll explain that state mandates
consume most of the budget and limit the County’s ability to
act. Those naysayers are only half right. County government
alone won’t solve the problems facing our community. But that
is no excuse for sitting on the sidelines. Government should be
a catalyst for new ideas … a convener bringing people together
from every corner of the County to solve problems collectively and
create opportunities.

Adam Bello Inauguration Speech , January 4th ,2020


Dear Residents of Monroe County,

November 5th, 2019 represented the dawning of a new day in Monroe County
with the election of a new County Executive. As a candidate for office, Adam Bello
pledged that he would bring our community together to address the critical issues
we confront. He immediately made good on that pledge in forming a transition
committee to help ensure that Monroe County government would no longer look
only within its walls to formulate solutions to difficult problems.

It has been our honor to lead this transition process. Over the past three months, we
have witnessed our community come together in the spirit of collaboration and public
service that have, for so long, helped forge our identity. Just as our community has
always worked together, County Government must now become an active participant
as we look to provide economic opportunity, ensure that government continues to
look out for the safety and wellbeing of all residents, and ensure that we are working
to create a sustainable future for our children.

This Transition Report does not intend to be the blueprint for every decision made by
County Executive Bello over the next four years. Rather, it is our hope that it serves
as a compass. Monroe County is currently confronted with challenges that threaten
the continued viability of our future. This transition report intends to provide direction
to our County Executive as he navigates the tough days, weeks, month and years
ahead.

Something like this has never happened in County Government. It is our hope that
these past three months have permanently altered the status quo at 39 West Main
Street and will have the lasting impact of infusing new ideas, new energy, a new
equitable lens, and new leadership for Monroe County. We proudly present this
Transition Report to County Executive Adam Bello – a product which represents the
talent, passion, hopes and wisdom of a community eager to roll up its sleeves and
move Monroe County forward.

Sincerely,

Jerome Underwood
Fran Weisberg
Robert Duffy

Chairs, Transition Committee for


County Executive Adam Bello
Ta b l e o f C o n t e n t s

1 | Transition Committee Leadership

2 | The Transition Process

3 | Priority Recommendations

6 | Economic & Community Development

23 | Human Services

39 | Sustainability

44 | Infrastructure

55 | Public Safety & Justice

67 | Administration
C o u n t y E xe c u t i v e A d a m B e l l o
Tr a n s i t i o n C o m m i t t e e
Transition Chairs
Robert Duffy, President & CEO, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce
Jerome Underwood, President & CEO, Action for a Better Community
Fran Weisberg, Longtime Community Leader

Subcommittee Chairs
Economic & Community Development:
Alex Castro, Chief Operating Officer, PathStone Corporation
Roosevelt Mareus, Dean/Executive Director, Rochester Educational Opportunity Center
Naomi Silver, President & CEO, Rochester Red Wings Baseball

Human Services:
Meaghan de Chateauvieux, President & CEO, Willow Domestic Violence Center
Ann Marie Cook, President & CEO, Lifespan of Greater Rochester
Wade Norwood, CEO, Common Ground Health

Public Safety & Justice:


Hon. Todd Baxter, Monroe County Sheriff
Hon. Willie Lightfoot, Vice President, Rochester City Council
Carla Palumbo, President & CEO, Legal Aid Society of Rochester

Infrastructure:
Tony DiPerna, President, Rochester Building & Construction Trades Council
Norman Jones, Commissioner of Environmental Services, City of Rochester
Dr. Nabil Nasr, Director, RIT Golisano Institute for Sustainability

Administration:
Angela Panzarella, President & CEO, YWCA of Rochester
Marlene Bessette, President & CEO, Catholic Family Center of Rochester
Bess Watts, retired Local President, Civil Service Employees Association

Executive Director:
Hon. Dave Seeley, Supervisor, Town of Irondequoit

The Transition Committee wishes to thank the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce,
particularly Dan Farruggia, for helping prepare this final document.

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T h e Tr a n s i t i o n P r o c e s s
On Tuesday, November 15th, 2019 – ten days after his Election Day victory – Monroe County
Executive-elect Adam Bello announced the formation of a transition committee. This ad-hoc body,
made up of a broad and diverse cross-section of community stakeholders, was charged with
helping to identify critical issues and strategies for the incoming Administration.

Over the past three months, over 100 members of the Monroe County community have donated,
collectively, several hundreds of hours of their time to formulate a transition report that will help
deliver on the pledge that candidate Bello made to provide “New Ideas, New Energy & New
Leadership” for our area.

Five subcommittees met multiple times across several weeks, and ultimately issued
memorandums to the three Transition Co-Chairs: Jerome Underwood, Fran Weisberg and Robert
Duffy. Subcommittees were asked to develop a vision statement for their respective area of
concentration; identify critical issues for the new Administration and recommend strategies to
address these issues.

The process does not end here. County Executive Bello has asked transition committee members
for their continued insight and counsel as he works to deliver a government that represents the
voice of all people living in Monroe County.

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Priority Recommendations
Organizational Priorities
1 | Develop and communicate a set of “Guiding Values” that will outline a new culture for Monroe
County government, which will be the basis for setting expectations for County employees.

2 | Appoint a Chief Diversity Office (CDO) to ensure that the County workforce mirrors the
community it represents. This office would be dedicated to training for current and future
personnel in all aspects of diversity, equity and inclusion; and, nd the development and
implementation of strategies to increase diversity among county employees. In particular, the CDO
should identify strategic partnerships to increase the number of people of color who participate
civil service examinations.

3 | Ensure that worker retention is a priority and make Monroe County competitive with other
municipal governments to minimize turnover.

4 | Engage with Monroe County residents, drawing regular feedback from constituents and
stakeholders through Town Hall meetings and better usage of social media.

5 | Make Monroe County an active participant in major community-driven efforts, especially the
System Integration Project which aims to interconnect local health, education and human services
organizations. As the largest human service provider in the area, Monroe County cannot sit on the
sidelines.

6 | Prioritize the identification and evaluation of potential issues that have the highest risk of
negatively impacting public welfare, key county initiatives or critical projects in order to help the
County avoid or mitigate those risks.

7 | Explore new opportunities for shared service agreements, which can be facilitated through
reviving the Council of Governments.

8 | Link budget and resource decisions to a long-term strategic plan for the county; work to
develop clear strategic goals and metrics that are measurable.

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Economic & Community Development
9 | Bolster County efforts to attract and retain college students and young professionals to work in
Monroe County through the creation of a partnership with CampusROC.

10 | Address the middle skills job gap by establishing a Workforce Educators Coordinating Council
which will develop a plan for better alignment and coordination of workforce programs.

11 | Develop a community stakeholder driven Comprehensive plan for Monroe County to establish
a vision, goals and strategies to guide future development and investment.

12 | Create the Monroe County Land Bank to address vacant Zombie Homes.

13 | Endorse and support the vision and goals of ROC2025, an alliance of economic development
organizations dedicated to expanding our area’s economy and making it more dynamic.

14 | Establish a body which effectively and accurately represents arts community in Monroe County
to provide guidance on issues relating to arts and culture, public art, and arts funding.

Human Services
15 | Designate a point-person to provide proactive, coordinated leadership to address the opioid
crisis and better connect resources to behavioral health.

16 | Focus on Child Protective Services (CPS) caseload ratio with a goal of achieving a caseload
range of 12-15 for each caseworker. This involves both worker recruitment and retention efforts.

17 | Provide more support for children with special needs: Increase spending for Special
Children’s Services, which includes the Preschool Special Education (PSE) and Early Intervention
(EI) programs. Fund the 15% rate increase in the PSE program (approved in March 2019) and ten
additional service coordinators for the EI program.

18 | Conduct a racial-equity impact assessment of policies, programs and practices and develop a
plan to address the findings.

19 | Review the serious concerns regarding the availability of shelter beds and the challenges
faced by the non-profit community to provide shelter services.

20 | Leverage additional state and federal funding for new county investments.

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Sustainability
21 | Establish a Climate Action Board, comprised of community stakeholders to develop
Sustainable Monroe Plan which will work to build a thriving future through collaborative initiatives
that deliver environmental, economic and social benefits and promote sustainability and resilience.
This will be developed through the Climate Action Board.

22 | Dedicate a Sustainability Manager within the County Administration focused on advising the
County Executive on critical sustainability issues and coordinating all County activities in this area.

Infrastructure
23 | Change the mindset and culture within the County Department of Transportation to
incorporate pedestrian-friendly components into county projects; and also, facilitate a countywide
active transportation plan.

24 | The County Executive should spearhead a new long-range strategic plan for the County Park
system, with an eye towards enhancing current assets and exploring new opportunities to expand
park amenities.

25 | Continue implementation of the Seneca Park Zoo master plan to ensure it remains a top
destination of families and visitors alike; and, accelerate capital improvements at Frontier Field
to reflect modern standards needed to keep the Rochester Red Wings an integral part of our
community fabric.

Public Safety & Justice


26 | The County should more fully participate in the NYS Justice for All initiative and assess how it
best fits into the statewide Strategic Action Plan, the goal of which is to provide all who seek civil
justice some access to civil legal assistance.

27 | Create a county task force to develop a plan and protocols for addressing issues created by
new criminal justice reforms adopted by the State, including bail reform and discovery; utilize the
existing community expertise in conjunction with all involved stakeholders.

28 | Ensure that Countywide Pubic Safety communications and IT projects do not move forward
until there the better synchronization and coordination among all stakeholders to ensure maximum
effectiveness.

29 | Engage all municipalities in establishing a common set of benchmarks for emergency


response, embracing the “Whole Community” concept.

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Economic &
Community
Development

We need a plan for our future, not one that keeps us stuck in our
past. It’s time for new ideas, new energy, and new leadership that
will bring people together and invest in our community. I believe
in the extraordinary potential of the people in Monroe County and
together we can build a brighter future.

County Executive Adam Bello

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Vision Statement
Through meaningful collaboration with community partners, Monroe
County will: more effectively and actively contribute to economic
growth through retaining, expanding, and attracting businesses
and entrepreneurs; have a Planning and Development Department
guided by priorities and initiatives derived from a new Monroe County
Comprehensive plan; execute a holistic approach to developing,
attracting, and supporting the most diverse and talented workforce of
any County our size.

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Wo r k f o r c e D e v e l o p m e n t
Retention and Growth of Young Talent and College Graduates
A recent survey conducted by Endeavor Insights of 150 top entrepreneurs identified “access to talent” as
their #1 business concern and another 2017 survey revealed that 77% of CEO’s see the lack of availability
of key skills as the biggest threat to their business. The Rochester Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)
has among the lowest graduate retention rates in the nation (34% for 4-year degrees). This causes two
problems: a job gap, where employers cannot find employees to fill highly technical job roles); and, a
lack of innovation: graduates with a focus in tech would otherwise be able to start businesses here in
the region. It is critical that we establish and execute a plan for retaining and growing college graduates
and other young talent. Specifically highlighting what Monroe County does well, like opportunities in the
technology sector and promoting initiatives like the downtown innovation zone, are key to accomplishing
this mission.

Recommendations:

1 | Fund & Create an office for the RETAIN taskforce that includes input from CampusROC. The RETAIN/
CampusROC partnership should focus on a three-pronged approach: social, career, and policy. By
focusing on these three areas we can show college students that Rochester is a place to live, work, and
play post-graduation.
• CampusPhilly (www.campusphilly.org) was started as a taxpayer funded effort in
Philadelphia, which has seen a 115% increase in 25-34-year-olds with college degrees
(2000-2017). The County should review this program to determine its viability in our region.

2 | Socially, we need to engage college students of all ages to find their own “Why Rochester?” A
concerted effort should be made to include college students, young and non-traditional, in all local
events aimed at young and incumbent professionals.
• An annual “College Fest” event should be held in downtown Rochester focused
on bringing-in current students from all local area colleges.
• We also need to identify other potential barriers to retention such as
spouses/partners, children, and aging family members.

3 | Support efforts to establish and expand internship and co-op opportunities between regional
colleges, trade groups, and businesses to promote awareness of career opportunities in Rochester and
Monroe County..
• This can be achieved by providing corporate partners with an “internship-in-a-box”
option and by hosting industry/major specific Monroe County focused job/internship
fairs at local area colleges.
• Beyond looking to create new jobs, the new administration should seek to promote existing
jobs/career opportunities by way of supporting initiatives like a comprehensive
job board as is being discussed by ROC2025.

4 | Focus on tax benefits for college students who stay here to work post-graduation. Efforts would
be undertaken to reduce red tape and bureaucracy which inhibit business success, and to support
incubators to encourage retention and growth in Monroe County.

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Low Wage Jobs in the Workforce
Like much of the nation, nearly half of all full-time jobs in Monroe County do not pay a self-sufficient
wage. A large proportion of new jobs created over the last decade pays low wages. The single largest
cause of poverty in our community is low wages. As a result of this condition, coupled with a history of
income/racial based housing segregation. Rochester has one of the highest poverty rates of any city in
the country. Poverty tears away at the fabric of our community, increases social service costs, results in
poorer health and higher medical costs, and contributes to a poorly-performing urban school district.

Recommendations:

5 | Develop strategies, in conjunction with the Mayor’s office and organizations focusing on anti-poverty,
to improve wages of existing jobs in Monroe County. There are several low-wage occupations in which
workers do vital and skilled work in our County, including home health aides, personal care assistants,
and childcare workers. They support a growing elderly population and working families; yet, are
disproportionately performed by women of color who live within the City.

6 | Support efforts to address workplace culture, hiring, retention, and promotion, and encourage
businesses to commit to these best practices as identified by the RMAPI employer pledge.

Rochester has one of the highest poverty rates of any city in


the country. Poverty tears away at the fabric of our community,
increases social service costs, results in poorer health and higher
medical costs, and contributes to a poorly-performing urban
school district.

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Development and Retention of the Middle-Skills Workforce &
Addressing the Skills Gap
Middle-skill jobs require an education and training beyond a high school level, but below that of a four-
year college. Shortages of workers for the various jobs are already undermining U.S. competitiveness
and causing businesses to shift their operations abroad. The deficit in the available supply of skilled
workers is a recognized impediment for the economic development strategy of the region. Additional
coordination and alignment of efforts across the region’s higher education institutions and training
providers is needed to provide a more comprehensive workforce education and training system.
Progress in this area will also prove beneficial for addressing the skills gap that exists across various
industries.

Additional coordination and alignment of efforts across the


region’s higher education institutions and training providers is
needed to provide a more comprehensive workforce education
and training system. Progress in this area will also prove beneficial
for addressing the skills gap that exists across various industries.

Providing more coordinated and thoughtful access to education for residents and
workers surrounding in-demand and emergent middle and high-skill job opportunities
is critical to producing a stronger supply of skilled workers. In doing so, it will provide
family wage career pathways to all residents of the community.

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Recommendations:

7 | Establish a Workforce Educators Coordinating Council.


The County Executive would convene a coordinating council
comprised of area workforce providers and institutions of higher
learning directly relevant to the workforce development efforts of
the region.
• The Coordinating Council will be tasked with
developing a plan for better alignment and
coordination of workforce programs, assets, and services
for residents and workers. The plan would result in
additional access and support for more trained workers
filling jobs within high value career pathways.
• Areas of focus would include workforce efforts themed
on growing the pipeline of students through the
K-12 system and supporting incumbent workers.

8 | Support efforts to promote middle-skills jobs and the local


education and training programs available in the community that
prepare residents for those jobs.

9 | Identify and prioritize high value industry sectors and related


occupations. Document existing relevant labor market information
and studies and determine if more information is needed to inform
a rubric for the creation of a high value sector and occupation
list for the County to guide investments and initiatives. Create a
method for reviewing and revising the rubric on a cyclical basis
to ensure the method is aligned to the most current needs and
thinking of the community and industry.

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Workforce Diversity
Significant disparities exist in the workforce of Monroe County based on race and gender. People of
color and women are often clustered in low wage occupations. Their compensation within certain
occupations is lower, even when they have attained the same educational level. The best workforce
profile that document these facts is “Wage Disparities in Monroe County by Race and Gender,” by the
Mayor’s Office of Innovation and Strategic Initiatives and the Rochester Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative
(2017).

Recommendations:

10 | Audit available County employment data and evaluate any disparities, and create pathways of
opportunity for historically disadvantaged individuals.

11 | Use County contracting and procurement to ensure that entities doing business with the County
have policies of inclusion and diversity in their employment practices. The County could take the lead on
diversity in the workforce by sponsoring training and other programs on best practices for employers,
especially small businesses whose size prohibits the hiring of a full-time diversity officer.

12 | Expand support for workforce development programs, like those at Monroe Community College,
that enhance employment opportunities through use of active “learn and earn” models for minorities and
women within high demand career pathways.
• The most successful programs, in terms of completion rates, are those that lead to
documented wage progression and incorporate the necessary social and financial
supports while in training.
• Models that actively utilize a “learn and earn” approach have shown to be effective
at increasing retention and completion, which will directly lead to greater workforce diversity.

Providing access to means for reliable transportation, safe day


care environments located conveniently, and assistance with
family-aging care will result in a lower employee turnover rate and
a decreased burden on middle and lower skilled employees.

Transportation, Day Care, and Aging Care


There are several barriers to effectively addressing the region’s workforce needs. Three of the most
critical issues identified are reliable transportation, day care, and aging care. Supporting better synergy
among organizations can help break down these barriers and assist employees with maintaining and/
or gaining employment in Monroe County. Providing access to means for reliable transportation, safe
day care environments located conveniently, and assistance with family-aging care will result in a lower
employee turnover rate and a decreased burden on middle and lower skilled employees.

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Recommendations:

13 | Connect businesses (HR representatives, business owners) with organizations that have resources
available to assist both the employees and the employers to offset absences due to transportation, day
care, and aging care.

14 | Enhance the way that Monroe County makes available information about organizations that have
funding and resources to help employees find state-approved day care and aging care facilities.

15 | Make childcare and aging care more easily accessible – closer to public transit and employees’
homes. Adequate funding is also important, as is ensuring that childcare workers are paid a self-sufficient
wage.
• Providing incentives to employers who establish childcare support programs
may prove valuable (1199SEIU and the University of Rochester have
a model program).
Determining the feasibility of implementing a childcare fund for eligible workers
should be explored.

16 | Working with partners in government and business at the local, state, and federal level, Monroe
County should look at establishing a concerted advocacy plan around mitigating these challenges
related to transportation, day care and aging care.

Community Development
Increasing Affordable and Workforce Housing Opportunities
Monroe County finds itself in a dynamic situation with regards to affordable and workforce housing.
The Rochester region is generally regarded as having one of the largest current pipeline of housing
opportunities, thanks to the vast network of local housing development entities. Combined with an
emphasis on affordable housing by RMAPI, there is a great deal of community collaboration, at present,
working towards increasing housing opportunity for all Monroe County residents. Even so, significant
issues exist surrounding extremely low-income housing which must be understood and prioritized by
County government.

Overall, the County must increase collaboration and partnerships


with non-profit organizations that have a proven track record in
community development and creating housing opportunities.

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Recommendations:

17 | Overall, the County must increase collaboration and partnerships with


non-profit organizations that have a proven track record in community
development and creating housing opportunities. This would ensure
that County priorities and strategies are aligned with the work being
done by the affordable and workforce housing development community.
This would continue to ensure that federal HOME funds are awarded in
alignment with community priorities.

18 | Support the creation of a Monroe Housing/Policy Commission. This


collection of community stakeholders would develop a Countywide
policy to increase access to quality, affordable rental and homeownership
opportunities throughout Monroe County, regardless of race and socio-
economic status. The objectives of the Commission would be supported
and recognized by public and private sources of financing, including New
York State.

19 | Housing goals must be aligned with other community objectives,


such as mobility and economic opportunity. The County should look to
work with involved stakeholders (e.g. developers, site selection teams,
municipal leaders) to ensure that community development projects have
access to mass transportation routes.

20 | Adopt Countywide legislation, mirroring a 2017 ordinance adopted in


the City of Rochester, whereby a landlord may not discriminate based on
a person’s source of income.

21 | The County should incentivize community development and


affordable housing projects to provide amenities and assets that will
benefit the neighborhood and community surrounding the project, such
as recreational facilities and/or pedestrian connections. The County
should also work with municipalities to ensure that local planning and
zoning policies are not used to avoid or discourage affordable housing.

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Land Use & Planning
The Monroe County Planning Department can take the lead in developing a long-term plan for
sustainable community growth throughout Monroe County. It has been over 40 years since the last
Countywide Comprehensive Plan was developed, leaving Monroe County with a patchwork of topic-
specific County level plans (e.g. County park master plans and CIP, etc.) and a range of local municipal
comprehensive plans that vary in age and level of detail. Although the County will always respect the
autonomy of local governments, there is an opportunity to develop a broad, stakeholder-driven vision
for Monroe County as a whole, addressing issues such as land use, development, housing equity,
transportation, and environmental stewardship. Monroe County can emerge as a leader in our region’s
efforts to combat the impact of global climate change and leadership should look to stakeholder-driven
planning endeavors to ensure community priorities are guiding County policy.

A comprehensive plan would also provide a blueprint for future


County funding decisions to ensure that significant investments,
such as County land acquisitions and public improvements, follow
the vision and goals articulated in the plan.

Recommendations:

22 | Commencing in year one, develop an updated, stakeholder-driven comprehensive plan which


establishes a vision, goals, and strategies to guide future development and investment. A comprehensive
plan would also provide a blueprint for future County funding decisions to ensure that significant
investments, such as County land acquisitions and public improvements, follow the vision and goals
articulated in the plan.
• Additionally, projects submitted by local governments and development
organizations for Community Development Block Grant funding, and other sources
of County funding (e.g., transportation, parks, housing) would need to demonstrate
how the County’s comprehensive plan goals and strategies are being addressed.

23 | Create an Active Transportation Plan to identify strategies and projects that will enhance walkability
and establish pedestrian-friendly environments throughout the County. Monroe County should seek
funding from the Genesee Transportation Council and other sources to develop an Active Transportation
Plan that is stakeholder driven and provides recommendations to enhance the County’s network of
sidewalks, on and off-road bicycle routes, and trails, which would help improve community health and
connectivity.

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Abandoned “Zombie” Homes
The growth of vacant and blighted houses threatens quality of life in neighborhoods throughout Monroe
County. In 2016, then-County Clerk Bello created the Monroe County Vacant Property Tax Force, which
aimed to coordinate stakeholders and identify strategies to reduce vacant and abandoned properties,
“zombie homes,” through prevention, identification, maintenance, and rehabilitation. There are several
strategies being deployed throughout New York State to combat the proliferation of zombie homes. Now
is the time to implement several of the recommendations of the task force and make Monroe County an
active partner in the fight to eradicate these problem properties.

Recommendations:

24 | Monroe County should join most other large counties in New York in forming a County Land Bank,
which would work to acquire properties that are vacant and/or abandoned, allowing the properties to be
rehabilitated and returned to productive use.
• The City of Rochester, for the past several years, has operated a land bank with
great success, returning vacant properties throughout the city to productive use and
demolishing properties beyond repair. A Countywide land bank would provide a valuable
redevelopment and neighborhood enhancement tool for local municipalities throughout
Monroe County.

25 | Eliminate the practice of selling property tax liens to third party collection companies to provide one-
shot revenues, which has only helped prolong the zombie home crisis in Monroe County. While the sale
of property tax liens provides short-term revenue, it can have long-term, adverse impacts on the value
and physical condition of residential streets and neighborhoods.
• As the Vacant Property Task Force suggested, the County should be more
strategic about which liens are auctioned off, versus which liens are used
in foreclosure proceedings.

Monroe County should join most other large counties in New


York in forming a County Land Bank, which would work to acquire
properties that are vacant and/or abandoned, allowing the
properties to be rehabilitated and returned to productive use.

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26 | Consider utilizing properties in the land bank as an asset for non-profit organizations in need
of space. This would help provide organizations with space to help satisfy both residential and
administrative needs.

Economic Development
Strategic Regional Economic Development Collaboration
Several programs and plans are in place with a common goal of promoting and expanding economic
development in Monroe County. The Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council (FLREDC)
leverages State dollars to implement long-term strategic plans for economic growth in the region.
ROC2025 is an alliance of economic development organizations dedicated to making Rochester a
dynamic and expanding economy with a shared vision of the future. For Monroe County to reach its full
potential, it is necessary for County Executive Bello to engage with these organizations and support their
respective missions.

Recommendations:

27 | Endorse and support the ROC2025 priorities including efforts to develop a more robust business
attraction, retention, and expansion program that strategically leverages regional assets and place-based
investments. This includes: investing in Monroe County’s urban core (City of Rochester); expanding talent
attraction, retention, and development to fuel the workforce and spark entrepreneurship; and positively
and widely marketing our region as one filled with opportunity.
• This work should be done in direct collaboration with ROC2025 partner
organizations including the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce,
Greater Rochester Enterprise, Rochester Downtown Development Corporation,
Visit Rochester, the City of Rochester, and Empire State Development, among others.

28 | The County Executive should join and participate in the FLREDC as an ex-officio member to help
guide the regional strategic planning and implementation efforts with NYS to benefit Monroe County and
the entire greater Rochester region.

29 | Support the continued development of a well-coordinated entrepreneurial ecosystem where


entrepreneurs can easily find the right resources they need to support their business growth, and any
gaps in the ecosystem are identified and filled.
• The County should also support online entrepreneur resource portals such as those being built
out via SourceLink and RocStarts.com, and leverage the existing State investments that have
been made into NextCorps, the Downtown Innovation Zone, and the Luminate Accelerator,
working in coordination with other Monroe County incubators including the RIT Center
for Urban Entrepreneurship, RIT Venture Creations, and the Commissary, among others.

30 | Review of COMIDA (Imagine Monroe) analysis of projects to ensure job retention, job growth,
and meaningful use of valuable incentives provided by tax abatements. Analysis should also involve
alignment with regional economic strategies and the new comprehensive plan.
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Foster and Promote Culturally Congruent
Economic Opportunities for All
Cultural congruence refers to the perceived distance between an organization’s competencies and the
distinct needs, interests, and aspirations of individuals and the cultural groups to which they belong.
Rather than simply creating economic communities based on traditional approaches and models, it is vital
to pursue a deep understanding of stakeholder needs first by meeting them where they are, and then
working collaboratively with them to satisfy their goals. Economic opportunities can center around asset-
building, savings, and investing. It can also prioritize relevant skill-building, education, and infrastructural
investments—physical, social, or virtual—to assist them in the attainment of their economic goals.

Recommendations:

31 | Identify innovative approaches for increasing access to capital for historically underserved and
marginalized groups across urban, suburban, and rural locales.

32 | Leverage community-based participatory research methods for building deep, trusting relationships
by engaging various stakeholder groups to collaboratively cultivate meaningful economic opportunities.

33 | Where possible, utilize County incentives and services to create and locate jobs near communities
which have historically faced barriers to enter the workforce.
• This includes assisting with the mitigation of barriers to employment such
as transportation, childcare, and aging-care (as referenced in the
workforce development section).

Rather than simply creating economic communities based on


traditional approaches and models, it is vital to pursue a deep
understanding of stakeholder needs first by meeting them where
they are, and then working collaboratively with them to
satisfy their goals.

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Promote a New Rochester-Monroe Community
To reach our full potential, Monroe County residents must extoll the virtues of the greater Rochester
community. It is critical that we highlight our community assets and better advertise the great quality of
life made possible by our unique and world class businesses, museums, arts, and overall culture.

Recommendations:

34 | Support efforts to cultivate the new identity being created in the region and streamline marketing
among regional partners.
• This includes an information gathering initiative to identify the great things
already happening throughout the region; incorporating technology into
marketing efforts (i.e. a hub for “everything Monroe County”); consistent messaging
among businesses, organizations, and local government entities; and encouraging
companies to promote themselves and the work they do.

35 | Identify and highlight what we are doing well and build upon that success. This includes
advertisement of our region’s affordability, businesses, innovations, schools, colleges/universities,
festivals, culture, history, and work opportunities.

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Enhance Arts and Culture Assets for Community
and Economic Impact

From the Memorial Art Gallery to the Eastman School of Music


to community art centers, theaters, groups, and artists, Monroe
County is home to a broad range of cultural organizations that
are nationally recognized and integral to our region’s identity. To
maximize their potential, Monroe County needs leadership that
recognizes and supports these assets.

Recommendations:

36 | Establish a body which effectively and accurately represents the arts community in Monroe County
to provide guidance on issues relating to arts and culture, public art, and arts funding.

37 | Evaluate Monroe County’s arts policies and support to ensure it is representative of our many
diverse arts communities, it is aligned with regional strategies, and it follows established best practices.

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Tourism, Sports, and Entertainment to Improve Quality of Life
Monroe County is home to attractions that draw tourists from far and wide.. Our sports teams, wineries
and breweries, museums, natural assets, restaurants, festivals, and historical significance must be
effectively leveraged. So too must our valuable meeting and convention business. We must continue
to invest resources into further developing and aggressively promoting our key assets, especially the
facilities and events owned and overseen by Monroe County in partnership with our tourism promotion
agency, Visit Rochester.

Recommendations:

38 | Expand support and promotion of the rich array of festivals like Fringe Fest, Jazz Fest, Summer
Fest, and Lilac Fest. Look into bringing back events like Winter Fest, sustaining events like Buffalo Bills
Summer Training Camp, and leveraging major events including the 2023 PGA Championship and Special
Olympics NY. Celebrate anniversaries of prominent people and events like the upcoming women’s
suffrage centennial and Susan B. Anthony’s 200th birthday.

39 | Continue implementation of the Seneca Park Zoo master plan in partnership with the Seneca Park
Zoo Society to ensure it remains a top destination of families and visitors alike.

40 | Accelerate capital improvements at Frontier Field to reflect the modern standards needed to keep
the Rochester Red Wings an integral part of our community fabric.

41 | Leverage the recent renovations to the Greater Rochester International Airport to expand flight and
service options for residents and businesses.

42 | Explore ways to increase the quality and attractiveness of Durand Eastman Golf Course, which has a
unique architecture that could enable it to be on par with other elite municipal golf courses in the State.

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Renewed City-County Cooperation
(Cross-Regional, NYS)
In nearly every facet of the community exists opportunities for
governmental collaboration. Eliminating redundancies and streamlining
the delivery of services and completion of projects will save time and
money. County Executive Bello should continue his track record of
collaboration and cooperation by instituting measures in the spirit of City-
County collaboration.

Recommendations:

43 | Better align priorities, projects, plans, and decision making. Beginning


with regular and open communication, the County Executive and the
Rochester Mayor can make great strides in streamlining efficiencies and
cutting costs.

44 | The County Executive and town/city supervisors/mayors should


look to create a joint committee (like the council of governments) to
further identify shared opportunities. Said group should not be limited to
principals.

45 | Carry the same spirit of City-County collaboration to engage with


other multi-regional partners across Upstate NY.

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Human Services

It’s time for a new approach to government in Monroe County –


one where stakeholders are at the table, and their input is valued;
one where decisions are made collaboratively and out in the open;
and one where we stop pointing fingers and
start solving problems.

Adam Bello, July 22, 2019

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Vision Statement
All Monroe County residents, whether urban, suburban or rural
are welcomed. They will have access to stigma-free, public
health, human services and social supports. By Moving Monroe
Forward, the Bello Administration will be nationally known for its
transformative efforts to provide compassionate, coordinated,
efficient, and comprehensive person and family-centered
assistance so that ALL individuals can thrive. To realize this vision,
the Bello Administration must:

1 | Acknowledge that structural racism in our systems exist.


Review policies, programs, and practices to ensure the county is
inclusive and equitable.

2 | Trust our community by operating transparently for


collaborative problem solving, learning and improved service
delivery.

3 | Reduce trauma by examining the way services are delivered


and the environment in which they are provided.

4 | Acknowledge that staff are the essential resource by which


the human services function is delivered.

5 | Respect the lived experience of county residents and


encourage them to define their own priorities and drive their
journey to self-sufficiency.

6 | Be innovative, collaborative, and coordinated with other


systems, leveraging best practices.

7 | Focus on prevention initiatives to proactively develop a


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healthy community where all residents thrive.
A New Approach to Public Health
The Monroe County Department of Public Health is charged with providing
direct public health services designed to protect the public from disease and
environmental hazards. The County should provide leadership to ensure
improved health status of all individuals and families and collaborate with
community partners to achieve this goal. The Department of Public Health
should continue to interact with health care entities to ensure that public health
issues are quickly recognized and addressed. Monroe County must approach
health focused policies, program design, service delivery and funding with
an understanding of how racism, poverty, equity, and trauma are impacting
the health of its’ residents. Core to this will be to embrace a person-centered
approach to service delivery. This should include avenues for inclusion of a
direct voice of clients as part of Monroe County’s process for program redesign.
Investment in a paid position charged with consistently bringing in the voice
of the consumer, particularly those individuals who represent vulnerable and
underserved populations in our county is key. Ideally, the position would be
filled by an active or recent recipient of services. Additionally, coordination of
community involvement is critical.

Monroe County must approach health focused policies, program


design, service delivery and funding with an understanding of how
racism, poverty, equity, and trauma are impacting the health of its’
residents.

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Recommendations:

1 | Acknowledge that issues outside of health impact health outcomes and adopt policies across the
board that consider the impact on resident health.
• Incorporate a system that identifies and addresses the non-medical
determinants of health. This strategy includes an emphasis on social determinants
of health as the conditions in the environments in which people are born, live, learn,
work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning,
and quality-of-life outcomes and risks.
• Incorporate “Health Across all Policies” approach in alignment with the
New York State Prevention Agenda, to identify and strengthen how polices can
have a positive impact on health. The overarching strategy of the Prevention
Agenda is to implement public health approaches that improve the health and well-being of
entire populations and achieve health equity.
• Identify health impacts in the activities of all county departments to assure alignment,
coordination, and adherence to the principles outlined in the vision, as well as
to breakdown silos that currently exist.
• It is critical that Monroe County and community healthcare organizations
are brought together to ensure a coordinated approach.
• Assure the RFP process includes the priorities that have been identified in
this document in scoring proposals for contract awards.
• Develop a system that is moving outcomes on both immediate health
concerns and long-term health outcomes simultaneously.

2 | Develop a robust Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) and create a system that centralizes
the existing intelligence on community needs.
• Identify existing community needs assessments and determine how to bring together these
processes and information. Develop a cohesive framework to synthesize this information.
• Data should be available and coordinated among the involved parties.
During data review, attention must be made to examining outcomes across all
populations for equity.
• Apply resources in accordance with the findings of the CHNA and
other community assessments.

3 | Recognize that there is an epidemic of trauma that is impacting our residents.


• Be a leader in promoting a trauma-informed community and adjust program design to reflect this.
• Recognize the impact of past trauma. Determine how the community can shift focus
and build resilience in individuals who have experienced trauma.
• Have awareness that a number of County staff may be experiencing trauma,
while also treating individuals with trauma.

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4 | Addressing the Addiction/Opioid Crisis
• Designate a point person to provide proactive, coordinated leadership to address
the addiction crisis and better connect resources to behavioral health
• Review successful initiatives in other counties of similar size and attributes to
Monroe County regarding integration of substance use treatment with primary care.
• Review the role of correctional facilities in substance use intervention and utilize
the RHIO for individuals leaving jail and connect health home care managers
with this population.
• Increase training of naloxone (Narcan) for individuals with substance use disorders
and their families.
• Increase access and outreach to individuals at risk (Open Access, Rochester Regional).
• Develop a means of addressing transition between completing rehabilitation
(intensive residential) and reintegration (community residence) for continued treatment.
Create strategies to mitigate the loss of reintegration beds due to inadequate state funding.
• Ensure that the opioid discussion includes a cross-section of services and engages the
entire community. Structure should address addiction in general, and not exclusively opioids.
• Review and explore early prevention and intervention strategies.
• Ensure sustainability by increased utilization of health home care managers to connect
individuals with all appropriate services. Increase community’s capacity for health
homes care managers.
• Develop a means for Monroe County to monitor services and minimize a duplication
of services. For example, individuals are often provided care managers through
multiple avenues (primary care physician, outpatient services).
• Continually monitor unsuccessful areas to adjust programming as needed.
Important to identify key indicators and allow for continuous quality improvement.

5 | Enhanced focus on Behavioral Health


• Integrate and comprehensively connect behavioral and physical health. Behavioral health is an
integral component of the identified at-risk, high-need population.
• Review community supports available to the most vulnerable, high-need individuals.
Focus on best practice services provided to those with a dual diagnosis and their supports.
• Develop a means for Monroe County to monitor and minimize the duplication of services.
For example, individuals are often provided care managers through multiple avenues
(primary care physician, outpatient services). There is a need for increased collaboration.
• Enhance advocacy for all aspects of healthcare. Improve accessibility and
navigation of the healthcare system.
• Increase use of peer support services for identified populations and their supports.
• Continue Monroe County participation in addressing suicide in both children and adults.

6 | Convene a task force on the financial sustainability of Monroe Community Hospital and ways to
maintain high-quality services.

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Services for Youth and Families
The Department of Human Services is charged with the responsibility to provide responsive services
to children and families at risk of significant harm and familial disruption. The outcome of these services
depends on their cultural relevance, sensitivity to trauma, and demonstrated effectiveness. Services
provided under the mantle of child welfare (CPS, foster care, and adoption) are accountable to measures
of child safety, permanency, and well-being as defined by the Federal government. Services within this
arena are provided by County and non-profit professionals who are vulnerable to vicarious trauma and
burnout, contributing to a high turnover rate which has a notably detrimental impact on child and family
outcomes.

Recommendations:

7 | Focus on Child Protective Services (CPS) caseload ratio with a goal of achieving a caseload range of
12-15 for each caseworker. This involves both worker recruitment and retention efforts.

8 | Conduct an analysis of current compliance with the provisions of the Family First Act Prevention
Services (FFA) and identify priority areas of focus, which may include targeted advocacy as well as
implementation of new practices. Identify local experts on FFA to lead this process (could be internal or
external to DHS).

9 | Expand and strengthen foster care and kinship care to prevent family disruption, in keeping with
FFPSA and research on long term child wellbeing. Meaningful and effective support should be extended
to parents and kinship caregivers with a goal of permanency within the family of origin whenever
possible.

10 | Ensure that relevant population health data informs resource allocation. Using existing data, DHS
should prioritize concerns which impact a broad range of the County population and contributes to
negative outcomes related to children and families.
• An example of this is the prevalence and impact of clinical depression, which
impacts a greatly disproportionate percentage of low-income women. This, in turn,
leads to increased incidence of underemployment, child abuse, and suicide.

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11 | Assess feasibility of universal home visitation model(s) for all expectant parents and integrate
existing evidence-based programs (including Nurse-Family Partnership, Building Healthy Children,
Parents As Teachers) into a more seamless continuum of supports. Conduct an analysis to determine
what resources would be needed to bring home visitation to scale in Monroe County.

12 | Develop a strong Youth Bureau and identify effective models of positive youth development and
youth workforce development for future implementation. Local advocates and practice leaders should
be convened for discussion of evidence-based models.

13 | Host a symposium on best practices in child welfare service delivery. Symposium should be
inclusive of child safety, permanency and well-being. This is an opportunity to import thought-leadership
from sector leaders across the country and to inspire local practice reform.

14 | Ensure that County dollars expended in Child and Family Services contracts are dedicated to
culturally responsive evidence-based programs where available and feasible. Facilitate access to
relevant data, including child welfare reports, so that the outcomes of evidence-based programs can be
evaluated.

15 | Ensure Juvenile Justice programs are developmentally appropriate, trauma informed, inclusive of
racial equity values and respectful of the needs of family systems.

16 | Assess status of Starlight Pediatrics to ensure optimal use


of this valuable resource. Reestablish onsite mental health services
for children in foster care.

17 | Empower administrative staff to address


secondary trauma and wellness among staff.

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Funding Challenges and Restrictive
Policies for Children’s Services
The Children’s Agenda has developed and outlined a forward thinking and progressive agenda to help
children in our community.

Recommendations:

18 | Provide more support for children with special needs: Increase spending for Special Children’s
Services, which includes the Preschool Special Education (PSE) and Early Intervention (EI) programs.
Fund a 15% rate increase in the PSE program (approved in March 2019) and ten additional service
coordinators for the EI program.

19 | Address the rising foster care placements: New foster care placements have risen 24% since 2017,
despite 2 years of significant expansion in programs to prevent these placements. Develop a team to
review and make recommendations to address the issue.

20 | Improve collaborative problem-solving, service delivery and cross-sector planning through increased
public transparency. Effective partnerships work best when trust and transparency are present. The
County has a seat at many community tables but too often has been a reluctant participant in the past.

21 | Maximize County spending to leverage federal, state and private dollars. Instead of viewing federal
and state program funding as mandates, view them as opportunities to bring additional dollars into our
community long-term.
• Explore deeper investments in programs like Community Optional
Preventive Services, the Child & Adult Care Food Program, income-eligible
childcare subsidies, NYS Education Department Community Schools, etc.

The County has a seat at many community tables but


too often has been a reluctant participant in the past.

30
22 | Focus on prevention, not remediation. The best use of County taxpayers’ dollars is to prevent
children’s problems from developing into bigger and more expensive problems down the road.
• DHS spends $20+ million on preventive services but only half of those
dollars are used to ck record of success (Source: Children’s Agenda).
• Toward that end, getting evidence-based, front-end programs up to scale
and integrated with others (such as home visiting with early intervention
screening and services, early intervention with childcare, etc.) will save
the high costs of remediation in the years ahead.

23 | Lead inter-municipal and public/private partnerships. There are many “tables” in our community
to split County focus, time and attention on children and family issues, and our community has many
programs and organizations to help children. Monroe County should create what other state and local
governments have successfully used: a high-level body to synthesize siloed efforts and focus on helping
to change the system for all children, particularly the most vulnerable.
• Initiatives for such an inter-municipal and public/private partnership could include
data-sharing agreements between the County, City, Rochester City School District and
service providers; an annual “State of Our Children” address co-led by the
County Executive, Mayor, Town Supervisors, and School Superintendents; or
creating a Children’s Cabinet.

24 | Reform decades of inequitable policy, starting with a thorough racial equity impact analysis of
County spending. County government has implementation authority in systems that have historically
inflicted much harm on children of color through implicit bias and racism, e.g. Juvenile Justice and Child
Protective Services.

The best use of County taxpayers’ dollars is to prevent children’s


problems from developing into bigger and more expensive
problems down the road.

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Services for Older Adults
In addition to the services provided at Monroe Community Hospital, the
County plays a significant role in the delivery of community-based aging
services. Monroe County Office for the Aging is the designated Area
Agency on Aging (AAA) and, as such, can accept federal Older Americans
Act funding. Of significance is that older adults are the fastest growing
demographic segment and, over the next decade, there will continue
to be a significant increase in the older adult population. The City of
Rochester has the highest rate of older adult poverty in NYS. Older adults
are vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment. Many struggle to navigate
systems – both health care and social services - that could help them
remain stable in the community.

Older adults are also an asset to the community. 50+ population accounts
for the majority of volunteering and philanthropy. It is imperative that we
have a better understanding of the needs of older adults and celebrate/
support their incredible contributions to our community.

Recommendations:

Monroe County should champion the Livable


Communities (Age-Friendly) model. A Livable/
Age Friendly community is one that is safe
and secure, has affordable and appropriate
housing and transportation options, and offers
supportive community features and services.

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25 | Monroe County should champion the Livable Communities (Age-Friendly) model. A Livable/
Age Friendly community is one that is safe and secure, has affordable and appropriate housing
and transportation options, and offers supportive community features and services. Once in place,
those resources help enhance personal independence, support residents to age in place, and foster
engagement in the community’s civic, economic and social life.
• Monroe County has been granted the Livable Communities designation by AARP and
has received funding from the NYS Office for the Aging to develop and to implement
a plan that addresses the eight domains of livability which support an age-friendly community.
These include: outdoor spaces & building; transportation; housing; social participation;
respect & social inclusion; civic participation and employment; communication
& information; and, community & health services. There is an opportunity for the
County Executive to take action and to take the lead.

26 | Support aging services by funding the match requirements so our community can maximize funding
to provide services. The Older Americans Act services requires a local match (typically 10% - 25%).
Monroe County does not fully fund the match placing an unsustainable burden on not for profit partners
to make up the difference. There are times in which the County is at risk not being able to draw down all
the federal dollars we are eligible to receive. The County should consider the following options: 1) Fully
fund the match and/ or2) Advocate a waiver of the match to NYS.

27 | Support local planning efforts (Common Ground Health - Sage 2 Plan) to understand the impact of an
aging society. Plan should include estimates on long-term care needs, workforce issues, Medicaid, family
caregiving supports, and the full spectrum of care needs for people.

28 | As part of local planning efforts, the County should adopt a “health-across all policies” agenda,
similar to the NYS policy, to improve health outcomes, enable well-being and promote equity across the
lifespan. If adopted, this agenda should emphasize a focus on social determinants of health, a health in
all policies approach and a healthy aging emphasis across the lifespan.

29 | Raise awareness of older adults living in poverty and support an action plan to address older adult
poverty. The City of Rochester saw a 36 percent increase in its older adult population over the past
decade, the highest rate of any major city in NYS, despite a 2 percent drop in its overall population
during the same period. Rochester’s older adults have the highest poverty rate of any city or county in
the State, at 31 percent.

30 | Use existing resources as advisors. Our community has an Aging Alliance - an informal group of
professionals (non-profits, government staff and funders) who have come together to raise awareness of
issues pertaining to older adults, study and research data to inform elected officials and other leaders,
champion the causes for older adults and reframe the aging narrative to increase understanding and
change attitudes about aging and ageism.

33
Conduct a Racial-Equity Impact Assessment of Policies, Programs
and Practices and Develop a Plan to Address the Findings
Moving Rochester Forward requires a deep commitment from the Bello Administration to address and
tackle our community’s deepest divides. In order to confront our challenges in racial/ethnic health
disparities, employment gaps, educational attainment, and social segregation, the Bello Administration
must lead in dismantling the structural inequities that prevent all Monroe County residents (city, suburban
and rural) from having equal access to, and participation in, our community’s growth and success.

Recommendations:

31 | Assess the current state of the county (equity assessment).

32 | Ensure a safe environment for personal discovery, normalizing conversations around sensitive
topics, conflict resolution, and courageous acts.

33 | Partner with the City of Rochester to learn and share best practices.

34 | Review and modify policies to dismantle structural barriers.

35 | Design and model organizational change behaviors that can be replicated throughout departments

36 | Acknowledge that staff are essential resources and mandate participation in ongoing, systemic
racial equity training as professional development opportunities to help them best serve the needs of the
community.

37 | Include Racial Equity in the county strategic plan with appropriate budget and measures to ensure its
integration and support.

Moving Rochester Forward requires a deep commitment from the


Bello Administration to address and tackle our
community’s deepest divides,

34
38 | Create the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Accountability to ensure:
• Internal and external changes occur within and throughout the county.
• Alignment with RMAPI goals.
• Inclusion and acceptance of community voice as subject matter
experts through their lived experiences.
• Transparency and accountability in Moving Monroe Forward.

Emergency Supports & Housing Stability


There are serious concerns regarding the availability of shelter beds and the challenges faced by the
non-profit community to provide shelter services because of:
• Insufficient rates and challenges with reimbursement structure.
• New OTDA requirements make more work for non-profit partners, but do
not provide increase in funding.
• Recent changes in rates include (1) a distinction between the rate for a child and adult (2) and
differentials for licensed versus non-licensed shelters (note: it is a significant financial
burden to obtain a license).
• Lack of reimbursement for “no-shows” puts the burden on the non-profit
as staffing costs are still incurred.
• If the county deems a client has resources, the burden is on the non-profit
agency to pursue those dollars; in other places, the County maintains this responsibility.
• Non-profits have only TEN DAYS to identify permanent housing.

Recommendations:

39 | Make the system more transparent and share information on setting rates, including rationale.

40 | Review reimbursement policy, especially as it relates to no-shows and client financial resources.
Compare these policies to other counties.

41 | Meet with Homeless Services Network to understand the complexity of the shelter system.

42 | Review the “ten day” provision and ensure efficient, streamlined process for data gathering/sharing.

Need for More Quality, Affordable Housing


throughout Monroe County
A primary reason people return for help from the system is because their housing is substandard. TANF
funds do not adequately cover affordable, safe housing. Many predatory landlords take advantage of
housing assistance; public dollars should not fund substandard housing.

35
Recommendations:

43 | Support efforts and advocate to the State to award more affordable


housing projects to our area.

44 | Develop a system to vet landlords to ensure they do more than the


minimum to get a Certificate of Occupancy.

45 | Ensure the County has a relationship with the Code Enforcement


within each of the municipalities.

46 | In the City of Rochester, the neighborhood service centers were once


part of the system to vet housing – bring that communication back and
consider a county-wide model.

47 | Review the implications of the 2020 NYS law around


housing and rentals.

Use of Sanctions
Overview of the Issue: Monroe County has historically had a reputation
of making it more difficult for citizens to assess public assistance benefits,
imposing sanctions on a more frequent basis as a means to reject
applications. Timeframes associated with sanctions feel arbitrary; no
explanation for why one person is 30 days, and another is 45 days. Once
an individual takes the necessary step to remove the sanction, there
are still long waiting periods in which the individual cannot get benefits.
DHS staff often makes a determination on a client status during a short
20-minute intake; these staff members are often untrained on issues
of chemical dependency and mental health. Sanctions should be a last
resort and have been used too quickly in Monroe County.

36
Recommendations:

48 | Assess the study done by Harry Murray from Nazareth College which compared Monroe County’s
use of sanctions to other larger upstate counties.

49 | Ensure transparency around the reason for the sanction and the associated timeline and explain the
reason for different timeframes.

50 | When a client is compliant, lift the sanction as immediately as possible and do not maintain long
waiting periods.

51 | Provide training for staff on mental health, chemical dependency, etc. Consider employing “peer
navigators.”

52 | Evaluate NYS plan to reduce the use of sanctions.

53 | Ensure that letters to clients regarding sanctions are understandable and provide clear direction.

Support for the County Workforce


The County Executive should make it a priority to promote wellness activities for county employees:

Recommendations:

54 | Convene an employee taskforce and give capacity to create and execute recommendations from
that taskforce, including organized labor.

55 | Name the County as a smoke free environment.

56 | Encourage preventative health screenings.

57 | Develop an employee wellness program.

58 | Provide additional training and support to staff.

59 | Set goals for recruitment / retention / leadership development.

37
Additional Recommendations from the
Human Services Subcommittee
The community eager to participate in and support efforts to set ambitious community goals. The goals
can and should be measurable and we should communicate progress to the public. In order to do that
we need access to data to facilitate internal and external decision making in a way that is accountable
and transparent.

Community Recommendations:

1 | Leverage county funding to pull down private, state, and federal resources.

2 | Fully support the Systems Integration Project so that people can receive more streamlined services in
the most appropriate setting.

3 | Seek efficiencies and logical points of connection throughout the health and human services delivery
system.

4 | Focus on evidenced-based and best practice programs.

5 | Leverage expertise and capacity of non-profit service community. Assess alternative service delivery
models and allow for flexibility in delivery of those services.

Additional Recommendations for County Operations:

6 | Improve waiting rooms and client interface to provide privacy, respect and dignity, in alignment with
principles of Trauma-Informed Care.

7 | Integrate services for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), and actively
partner with IDD agencies.

8 | Consider restructure of staffing model to increase the use of advocacy models such as family
advocates, care navigators & peer navigators so people can access supportive services in an efficient
manner. For example, provide trauma-sensitive advocacy services in DHS waiting room.

9 | Review councils and committees, internal and external, to determine which can be eliminated,
consolidated or made more purposeful.

10 | Apply lean principles to redesign services to create a more integrated delivery network inclusive
of DHS and DPH, with the ability to interface with the Systems Integration Project and other large
transformation initiatives in the community.

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Sustainbility

Our climate is changing; there is no escaping that fact. It’s time


that our community join communities from across the state, the
country, and the world, and get serious about addressing the far
reaching threats posed by our changing climate that will impact
not only the county’s ability to deliver services today, but also the
well-being of our region for decades to come.

Adam Bello, August 23, 2019

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Vision Statement
Monroe County must look to adopt a progressive agenda with
a broad focus on sustainability to support healthy growth while
ensuring environmental conservation and high quality of life for
the citizens of Monroe County. While planning a sustainability
strategy for the County should involve all departments such
as the Department of Environmental Services (DES) and the
Department of Planning and Development, DES should be the
lead in executing an effective sustainability strategy that can
bring significant benefit to the community. This highly viable
strategy will establish Monroe County as a leader among
progressive sustainable communities. This approach should be
focused broadly on the community expanding its focus beyond
the County operations. It is important to emphasize that the
sustainability strategy should be looked at as a cross-departmental
responsibility and not just DES.

40
Recommendations:

1 | Dedicated Sustainability Manager. The County should have a position focused on advising the
County Executive in the sustainability area and coordinating all County activities in this area.
• It is also critical for the new County administration to ensure that its vision
is coupled with a strong and realistic implementation plan.

2 | Establishment of a Climate Action Board. This revives the Environmental Management Council and
provides a vehicle for expert and community input.
• This would include relevant county department heads but would also provide
an opportunity to include external subject matter experts and environmental professionals.
• The county will receive data-driven, state-of-the-art information as it
makes decisions surrounding climate mitigation, resilience, and sustainability.

3 | Sustainable Monroe. Using the Climate Action Board, the County will create and adopt a community
stakeholder driven “Sustainable Monroe” plan which will work to build a thriving future through
collaborative initiatives that deliver environmental, economic, and social benefits as well as promote
sustainability and resilience.
• This will be accomplished through process and internal improvements, climate
action planning, infrastructure (built environment), energy development, protecting
our water resources, increasing cleaner transportation options, and creating
a materials management strategy that seeks to eliminate waste.
• The Sustainable Monroe Plan should be guided by the same principles as
advanced by the Sustainability Workgroup of the Finger Lakes Region Economic
Development Council: Energy, Transportation, Livable Community, Waste,
Water, Agriculture & Food System, and Climate Change.

41
The Following are Recommended Sustainable Monroe Activities
• Create the Sustainability Leadership Awards which would recognize and encourage community
leadership and or organizations in promoting and undertaking programs of strategic importance to the
community. The details of an awards program(s) should be provided in the first annual report of the
Sustainability Advisory Board.

• Establish a Sustainable Business Hub. This would provide a county focal point assisting businesses
and start-ups in developing cleaner practices, technologies, and products and support favorable finances
of sustainable businesses throughout the county. This activity should be conducted in collaboration with
the county’s economic development activities.

• Establish Monroe County Partnership for a Sustainable Community. The County should develop
partnership with community organizations, NGOs, and universities in promoting a collaborative agenda
and supporting the county’s objectives. Outreach and education activities should be planned through this
partnership.

• Develop County Performance Indicators and baseline. Monroe County should develop its own
sustainability indicators and baselines similar to the baseline indicators documented in the 2013 Finger
Lakes Regional Sustainability Plan. Such benchmarking should also be done with County-specific assets
(fleet, physical plant, etc). The County should look for external grant opportunities to help fund such
benchmarking.

• Marketing Sustainable Monroe. Sustainability is an important economic development tool for attracting
corporations and talent in any region. Regions that promote that they have better places for everyone to
live, with more green spaces and less air and water pollution will attract and retain more residents. The
ability to demonstrate regional and corporate social responsibility in regard to sustainability is key to
attraction of the best companies and talent.

Additional Recommendations:

4 | Creation of a Sustainability Advisory Board (SAB). This high-level external advisory entity would
report directly to the county executive, similar to corporate sustainability advisory boards reporting
typically to the CEO.
• This body would provide high-level implementation recommendations, guidance
and update of plan as well as continue to monitor established metrics to
ensure successful execution.
• It would also help to promote sustainability, determine intermediate and
long-term benchmarks, measure success, and report on progress.
• The SAB should issue an annual report to be issued to the County Executive
and local leaders to ensure the County is meeting its sustainability goals.

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5 | Make Internal County operations more sustainable. The new Administration should look
to expand the role of the existing Sustainability Team to focus on a Countywide internal/external
Sustainability Initiative. This should include developing a green procurement policy and a
comprehensive sustainability plan for county operations.

6 | Clean Energy Community. The County administration should begin taking steps to receive Clean
Energy Community certification (administered through NYSERDA) and to be designated as a Climate
Smart Community (administered through NYS DEC). Not only will this help focus goals and priorities as
it relates to Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, it will also open new doors for potential state funding
opportunities to help implement high impact clean energy initiatives.

7 | Leading the way on reducing food waste. The County should look to work with the City of
Rochester to evaluate the feasibility of a residential and commercial food waste composting program
and the role it may play with the implementation of the program.

8 | Support Regional Sustainability efforts already in place. For the past several years, the Finger
Lakes Region has engaged in a community driven effort to formulate regional sustainability goals and
strategies through the Regional Economic Development Council Sustainability workgroup. Not only
should Monroe County become an active participant in these efforts, it should work to support key
strategies that have come out of this workgroup.

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Infrastructure

I know in my bones that we have all the elements we need to


thrive economically, socially, and artistically….You can call me an
optimist. I plead guilty as charged. As your County Executive, I
pledge to do all I can to bring people and institutions together so
that our communities do better than ever before.

Adam Bello, January 4th, 2020

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Vision Statement
Monroe County should strive to have an infrastructure that enhances
the quality of life for the residents residing within. It must be forward
thinking in its approach to both maintaining and improving the vast
system of roadways, bridges and parks; as well as its massive sanitary
sewer operation. Furthermore, the County must always ensure that
its infrastructure investments – particularly those involving its Parks
– are directed where they are most needed; and, help promote
inclusiveness & sustainability.

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Parks
Seneca Park Zoo
Seneca Park Zoo is a premier educational center, recreational experience, and tourist attraction in
Monroe County, attracting nearly 375,000 visitors in 2018. It needs continued support and attention to
remain a leader in its field. At present, the zoo is going through a dynamic phase of transformation – one
the provides an opportunity to cement its place as a community asset and driver of regional tourism.

Recommendations:

1 | Plan and Execute Phase 1B of the Seneca Parks Zoo Master Plan. This will include the construction of a
new Welcome Center that serves as a national model for inclusion, welcoming guests of all backgrounds
and all abilities. Continue the transformation of Seneca Park Zoo, including construction of new Tropics
Complex, Conservation Education Building, and Trailside Conservation Café.

2 | Re-establish the Monroe County Zoo director position as separate from Parks Director. This would
divert from the previous Administration’s decision to merge the two positions into one.

3 | Work to ensure the entire Zoo campus provides opportunities for all sectors of our community,
including those with sensory sensitivities.

4 | Negotiate a new long-term operating agreement with the Seneca Park Zoological Society, the
nonprofit partner to Seneca Park Zoo since 1957.

5 | Maintain accreditation of the Seneca Park Zoo through AZA (Association of Zoos & Aquariums). The
next accreditation will occur in 2023.

6 | The Administration must always recognize that there are various operating models under which zoos
can operate. As such, it should explore pros and cons of Seneca Park Zoo continuing as public-private
entity or transitioning to fully private entity a la Buffalo Zoo.

7 | Improve composting and recycling to enhance both Zoo operations and guest experience.

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Access to Parks and Nature
Quality of life is a critical measure of a community’s health and economic outlook. By any measure,
access to open space and recreational opportunities are fundamental to the quality of life in Monroe
County. The County needs to be collaborating with the City of Rochester parks department and
municipalities on effective management of park resources,

Recommendations:

9 | The County Executive should spearhead a new long-range strategic plan for the County Park system,
with an eye towards:
• Expansion of the park system and opportunities for new parks.
• New recreational opportunities – mountain bikes, dog parks, skate parks,
festivals, sensory-inclusive play areas, etc.
• New educational opportunities – both environmental education and workforce development.
• Improved branding for parks and outdoor opportunities in Monroe County. This
should include embracing the Olmsted legacy of our park system; and, promote
Monroe County and municipal parks as premier recreational opportunities for all.
• Accessibility for wheelchairs, people with disabilities, all county residents.
• More public-private partnerships within our park system.
• Maintenance backlog issues.
• Cross-walk the existing park portfolio with county demographics. This will help
determine what areas of Monroe County is in most need of new park amenities.

10 | Create new advisory board to work closely with senior parks leadership.

11 | Assess Lamberton Conservatory at Highland Park and explore opportunities for it to be more relevant
and accessible to the public.

Quality of life is a critical measure of a community’s health and


economic outlook. By any measure, access to open space and
recreational opportunities are fundamental to the quality of life
in Monroe County. The County needs to be collaborating with the
City of Rochester parks department and municipalities on effective
management of park resources.

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Culture within Parks Department
Organizations with a culture of engaging their employees have stronger
performance records, higher employee satisfaction, and track records of
innovation and results.

Recommendations:

12 | Ensure a culture of openness, transparency, and equal opportunity


that treats every person in the department with consideration,
professionalism and respect.

13 | Provide training for all employees in effective supervisory techniques,


communication, conflicts of interest, and sexual harassment.

Using Parks to Promote Diversity,


Equity and Inclusion

People from disadvantaged backgrounds are less represented in careers


in environmental science and park management, and often lack access to
parks and open space.

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Recommendations:

14 | Conduct an analysis of workforce composition – including but not limited to: ethnicity, gender, age --
in Monroe County Parks Department.

15 | Develop hiring and internships for people from disadvantaged backgrounds, working with school
districts, higher education institutions, and neighborhood groups.

16 | Promote volunteer opportunities that engage youth and underrepresented sectors in park
management and the Seneca Park Zoo.

17 | Emphasize diversity in applicant pools and interview panels and make employment decisions based
on an individual’s complete set of skills and credentials, including a wide range of perspectives and
experiences.

18 | Build facilities that are accessible to all members of our population.

Collaboration & Partnerships


Partnerships are key to unlocking more resources and delivering results. Greater collaboration among
county departments and between the County, school districts, City and municipal governments is a
starting point. So too is collaboration among the public and private sectors, including the business
community, higher education, foundations and nonprofits.

Recommendations:

19 | Establish regular communication mechanisms between County, City and Town parks leaders.

20 | Reinvigorate the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County as an educational service for
county residents for gardening, agriculture, and tree and lawn management.

21 | Explore the creation of a county-wide system of dog parks managed by a single entity.

22 | Identify and pursue mutually-beneficial partnerships with for-profit, nonprofit and academic sectors.

23 | Establish connections with leaders from schools to identify shared goals and programs.

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Urban Parks
Opportunities to experience nature and the outdoors are not equally enjoyed by people from all parts of
the county and all walks of life. ROC the Riverway identified several key assets along the Genesee River
that could be better harnessed for people and nature.

Recommendations:

24 | Explore options for new joint County-City parks at High Falls and elsewhere along the Genesee
River corridor, including Suntru Street, Beebe Station and Russell Station.

25 | Complete river-wide trail system in the City and connect it to other trails across the county.

Using Parks to Fight Climate Change & Promote Sustainability


Climate change poses a threat to the well-being of people and nature in Monroe County and the world.
Monroe County, the Parks Department, and Zoo can identify and deploy best practices that help reduce
greenhouse gas emissions and improve sustainability.

Monroe County, the Parks Department, and Zoo can identify and
deploy best practices that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions

26 | Evaluate the Parks Department’s carbon footprint as part of a larger county-wide effort.

27 | Begin or accelerate the transition of the fleet of County vehicles and landscape maintenance
equipment to electronic power.

28 | Provide EV charging stations at county parks, the Zoo, county parking lots and office locations.

29 | Commission an analysis of where solar arrays might be erected on Monroe County buildings,
the Zoo, and appropriate parkland, provided there are no impacts to recreation, visitors, and natural
resources.
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30 | Establish sustainability goals for Monroe County Parks Department as part of a larger county-wide
effort.

31 | Promote Green park events and create ambitious goals for zero waste at all large County Parks
sponsored festivals by the end of the first Bello Administration.

Resources for Parks


Funding is often the critical limiting factor for expansion and management of parks, recreation, and open
space. New resources are needed to deliver impacts at a meaningful scale.

Recommendations:

32 | Commission a report outlining best methods of securing new dedicated resources for parks,
recreational facilities, educational programs, trails, bike paths, farmland protection, and open space.
(Options include green bonds, public referenda, hotel tax, sales tax, etc.)

33 | Partner with federal, state, and local governments to expand local open space and recreation
programs.

Tr a n s p o r t a t i o n
Philosophy of the Department of Transportation (DOT)
Even though nationally and globally there is a clear pendulum shift relative towards active transportation
& complete streets and infrastructure, Monroe County appears to be stuck in the ways of old, thinking
solely of the movement of vehicles. Generally, it is easier to say ‘no’, than to dive in and figure out a new
problem and achieve a new goal.

Recommendations:

Street tree plantings, where site characteristics allow, should be a


welcomed addition to some County highways. This is a simple shift
in ideology which can slow and calm traffic, increase home values, and
improve the overall character and aesthetics of neighborhoods.

34 | With eighty cents on every dollar being reimbursed in federally-funded projects, the County
should either explore sidewalk construction as part of their rehabilitation projects; or, engage the local
municipality with the option to construct under the 80 cents to the dollar federal subsidy.

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35 | Street tree plantings, where site characteristics allow, should be a welcomed addition to some
County highways. This is a simple shift in ideology which can slow and calm traffic, increase home
values, and improve the overall character and aesthetics of neighborhoods.

36 | Phase II of the Monroe County Pedestrian Safety Action Plan should immediately be organized,
reviewed and implemented to ensure the safety of active, non-vehicular roadways users.

Funding Levels for County DOT Roadwork


The County Highway Superintendent Association and the Town Highway Superintendent Association
both are active in advocating for additional CHIPS, PAVE-NY, and Extreme Winter Recovery dollars from
New York State. These funding sources compose a significant portion of the highway maintenance
and roadway resurfacing work within the County. Without these funding streams, road conditions will
degenerate leading to motorist and constituent frustration.

Recommendations:

37 | Expand Monroe County DOT’s role in coordinating meetings with local State Assembly and State
Senate representatives to stress the importance of State funding for local roads. This advocacy should
not only continue but be expanded to educate our elected representatives on the funding disparity
between New York State-Department of Transportation Region 4 (which includes Monroe County) and
neighboring regions.

Expansion of Shared Services within County DOT


Local municipalities follow County DOT’s example in a number of ways, including but not limited to:
material and supply purchasing contracts; facilitation of meetings with partnering government agencies;
and, responding to snow and weather events. An opportunity exists for DOT to take a more prominent
role throughout the region, expanding the current levels of shared services with local municipalities and
fostering better partnerships across government agencies.

An opportunity exists for DOT to take a more prominent role


throughout the region, expanding the current levels of shared
services with local municipalities and fostering better partnerships
across government agencies.

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Recommendations:

38 | Combine bidding with the City of Rochester and Monroe County towns and villages for select
material and service contracts to increase the economies of scale.

39 | At present, county traffic engineering performs traffic engineering services for the City of Rochester.
County DOT should consider expanding this service to the Towns on a chargeback basis. This would
reduce costs for the Towns and increase revenue for the County.

40 | County DOT should lead collaborative meetings between local municipalities (Towns and Villages),
including but not limited to: Rochester Transit System, Monroe County Water Authority, RG&E and other
similar quasi-government and large private agencies. This effort would provide for better partnership
and communication across government agencies, thus reducing project costs and improving outcomes.

Communication Breakdowns During Emergency/Natural


Disaster Situations
The need to communicate between agencies during emergency situations is paramount.
During disaster situations, local officials are working with County DOT / County Office of Emergency
Management (OEM), relaying real time data on weather, roadway closures, power outages, and
outstanding service requests. Information sharing must be open, constant and travel in
both directions. Similarly, the County has the responsibility to take a lead role
facilitating communication across agencies, including the State of
New York, RGE and others.

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Recommendations:

41 | MC-DOT requires, as part of Townships’ snow and ice contracts, Townships participate in the ‘Snow
and Ice Board’, inputting local highway road conditions in real time. During wind storms and power
outages this tool has been used to keep MC-DOT and County OEM informed on local conditions. Monroe
County should input information on this Board and make it accessible to keep local officials informed on
such conditions and data.

MC-DOT Personnel Issues


At present, County DOT highway maintenance workers turnover at a high rate. With wages just
above minimum wage, DOT cannot retain or attract new employees to fill positions critical to highway
maintenance and highway emergencies. In contrast, the senior leadership for County DOT has
enjoyed many years of stewardship over the Department. A succession plan needs to be implemented
immediately as within the next 1 to 2 years, many of the senior management positions at County DOT
staff are poised to retire.

Recommendations:

42 | Raise wages for entry level highway maintenance employees. This will attract new employees and
retain current employees.

43 | Create a middle management succession plan. While it may take years for a highway maintenance
worker to ascend into middle management, it is a possibility. DOT should invest in training for their
employees to allow roadway maintenance workers the opportunity to ascend into middle management
positions.

44 | DOT should become more active in local high schools and trade schools to recruit new members
of County government. County DOT employs a variety of manual labor positions such as highway
maintenance laborers, machine equipment operators and mechanics, among others. Integrating into the
classroom will help train and recruit the next generation of operators and mechanics.

45 | Create a succession plan for the senior leadership of County DOT. Identify local candidates, both
inside and outside the Department, to ensure that there will be a continuity of essential DOT operations.

46 | The County should lobby NY State Education Department to attain recognition for high school
students entering a trade apprenticeship. Districts could attain recognition for the number of students
entering and/or the number of students being accepted into a trade.

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Public Safety
& Justice

The fundamental responsibility of government is to protect the


well-being of its citizens.

Adam Bello, May 29th, 2020

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Vision Statement
Monroe County must strive toward access to justice in criminal and
civil matters that impact all segments of our community. Government
resources will be used efficiently in a manner that is fair to all in both
criminal and civil matters; with a further goal of reduction of crime,
fair treatment and support for both victims and accused. Emergency
management must maintain a commitment to readiness, response,
recovery and resiliency.

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Justice
Allocation of Resources for Indigent
Criminal Legal Services
New York State has lowered caseloads for indigent criminal defenders (“case caps”); and
increased the income maximum for determining eligibility which has placed a strain on
resources of those offices providing mandated criminal defense representation. As a result
of litigation with the state, there was a settlement that ultimately resulted in increased funds
to Monroe County to assist with the increased needs in indigent defense. Unlike most other
counties, Monroe County’s negotiated contract with the State allocated the bulk of the funds
to the Assigned Counsel Program, not the Public Defender or the Conflict Defender.

Recommendations:

1 | The Assigned Counsel Program should have its own administrator and be separate from
the Conflict Defender. There are a limited number of private attorneys truly qualified to
handle many of these matters and a dedicated administrator would allow for more direct and
intensive supervision and training.

2 | Develop a team approach consisting of the Public Defender, Conflict Defender and
Monroe County Bar Association (MCBA) to work with the Office of Indigent Legal Services to
address these issues and find solutions.

3 | The current MCBA plan for the Conflict Defender should be reviewed, refreshed, and
amended as necessary. It is recommended that this Administration work more closely with
the MCBA, the Public Defender and the Conflict Defender to avail itself to the expertise of
the MCBA members on these issues of criminal legal services.

Support for Civil Legal Services and the


Justice for All Initiatives
Other than a small grant for representation in domestic violence matters with the Legal
Aid Society of Rochester, the county has historically been hands-off in both funding and
participating in access to civil justice for indigent litigants in Monroe County. Monroe County
was the second county in New York State to be selected by the Chief Judge’s Permanent
Commission on Access to Justice to address issues of increasing access to justice for
litigants. Access to civil legal services, or the lack thereof, has a significant impact on the
county from the costs associated with domestic violence to homelessness and need for
shelter beds. The County has a role to play in the provision of sufficient resources to assist
with the current Access to Justice Initiatives.
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Recommendations:

4 | The County should more fully participate in the NYS Justice for All initiative and assess how it best fits
into the statewide Strategic Action Plan, the goal of which is to provide all who seek civil justice some
access to civil legal assistance.

5 | Support the Housing Pilot Project that has been proposed by the Justice for
All Initiative. That pilot proposes full representation for any tenant facing eviction in the
City of Rochester and three “test” town Courts: Greece, Irondequoit and East Rochester.
Modeled after the NYC right to counsel laws, this pilot will represent all who appear in these
courts and evaluate the impact of full access to counsel.

Impact of Recent Statewide Criminal Justice


Reforms on the County
Changes to NYS law regarding cashless bail and the amount and timing of discovery documents is
having a critical impact on several aspects of public safety providers from law enforcement: from 911
to the District Attorney’s Office. These reforms are putting a strain on all points of the system, with
insufficient accommodations and resources. Local governments and law enforcement are reacting
in real-time and trying to comply; however, it is unknown what the cost will be, or how this will
broadly impact criminal justice efforts. These reforms will impact coordination between all county
departments that interface with the criminal justice system and reach beyond public safety into our
community, including shelters, kitchens, hospitals etc. Many of these individuals will be released without
consideration for their support, such as the need for adequate shelter upon release.

The County should more fully participate in the NYS Justice for All
initiative and assess how it best fits into the statewide Strategic
Action Plan, the goal of which is to provide all who seek civil justice
some access to civil legal assistance.

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Recommendations:

6 | Work Collaboratively with pre-trial services to see what resources need to be put in place and what
protocols need to be established.

7 | Create a county task force to develop a plan and protocols for addressing these issues; utilizing the
existing community expertise in conjunction with the MCBA, Public Defender and Conflict Defender
experts.

8 | In anticipation of increased need for shelter, consider overhauling the County shelter system and the
impact of sanctions currently imposed by the Department of Human Services (DHS).

9 | The administration must keep the implementation of these reforms on its radar and begin to
ascertain ways to meet the new procedures required by this law and how to address the financial
impact on the various agencies.

Lack of Supportive Services that Have an Adverse


Impact on this Community from a Legal Aspect

There is a symbiotic connection between the lack of supportive


infrastructure services and the lack of legal services that has
reciprocal impacts on each other and on the community.

There is a symbiotic connection between the lack of supportive infrastructure services and the lack
of legal services that has reciprocal impacts on each other and on the community. The lack of shelter
beds, lack of adequate staffing at Probation and at Child Protective Services greatly impacts much
of the community’s most vulnerable population. Probation plays an important role in Family Court by
assisting victims with preparing petitions for orders of protection, yet recently has had issues meeting
the needs because of inadequate staffing.

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Recommendations:

10 | Develop processes that result in fewer sanctions being imposed so that more people can access
shelter. Conform protocols to mirror what is being done in Erie and Onondaga counties which have less
sanctions and therefore more accessibility to shelter.

11 | Ensure adequate staffing for Probation and Child Protective Services, both being critical functions
of County government. Reinforce Probation’s role in Family Court and continue to prepare petitions for
victims of domestic violence seeking assistance.

12 | Support initiatives to improve the community connection to 211; work with the Justice for All initiative
and Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative (RMAPI) on a better way to access systems through Monroe
County.

Community Protection
Public Safety Communications and IT Projects
The Public Safety Transition committee has identified four major projects that are simultaneously
occurring, taxing our resources: Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD), Transition to new radios; Mobile Data
Terminals (MDT), and Record Management Systems (RMS). Overall, a step back should be taken to better
synchronize and coordinate these efforts for maximum effectiveness.  A top to bottom assessment of
each project, including a monetary audit of how monies are allocated and spent, should occur. A culture
of transparency and cooperation needs to be developed. Many of these systems were purchased during
the era of LDCs, with no transparency and no communication. Decisions about what systems are needed
and who would manage them were made under the cover of darkness. There needs to be appropriate
lead people assigned to each project. There needs to be a change in the culture, and openness to new
and better ways.

New Public Safety Radios: With regard to the development of the new public safety radios, the critical
issue is a lack of communication and understanding of this ongoing project by user agencies. Contract
timelines are not known. In general, there are infrastructure complaints and a need to review and build
confidence in users. The project, involving integration to a new Harris system, has been dogged by an
unclear timeline for implementation status and unassigned project management.

Recommendations:

13 | Delay project implementation and keep working on its development, seeking input from, and
coordinating with, all impacted agencies.

14 | Conduct a top to bottom audit of systems and finances of the four interrelated ongoing projects;
Harris Radio, Computer-aided Dispatch (CAD), Mobile Data Terminal (MDT) and Records Management
System (RMS), for contracts, funding clarification, coordination of implementation timelines and proper
project directors.

15 | Assign the new radio program to Public Safety Communications as project director.

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Computer-aided Dispatch (CAD): Overall, the new product (Hexagon) is a good product, which will allow
for critical public safety information to be better coordinated. As a result, situational awareness will increase.
There are infrastructure and equipment issues with individual Police, Fire, and EMS disciplines. There is a
planned integration of equipment and software, with new CAD software scheduled to be installed, then shortly
after, new MDTs will be installed. Given there is a five-month lead time to purchase new MDTs, the completion
of the new CAD system is a priority.

Recommendations:

16 | Delay implementation of CAD implementation to better coordinate with the installation of outdated MDTs.

17 | Assign new CAD program to Emergency Communications Department as project director.

Records Management System (RMS) (Tyler/New World): A Records Management System (RMS) project has
been ongoing for several years. In the interim, the Rochester and Gates police departments implemented
their own RMS projects. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office has supplied a project manager and is now
coordinating new RMS for public safety. The County has elected to move forward with the system used by the
Rochester Police Department, as it has demonstrated positive results. The County IT Department is central
towards implementation and thus there should be appropriate allocation of time and resources towards this
project.

Recommendations:

18 | Complete test of the product to include a new booking feature.

19 | Consider better incorporating the County IT Department into managing these systems by dedicating
personnel to specifically help oversee: CAD, RMS and MDTs. This may include increasing overall resources to
IT.

20 | All contracts for Record Management Systems must include maintenance of system agreements.

Building Trust Among All Public Safety Agencies and Organizations


To many in the area’s public safety community, county government has at times seemed unresponsive to
the needs of the community. There is a lack of coordination, communication, and input on projects. This also
includes a historical lack of transparency in awarding public safety contracts.

The County Executive should develop a list of key stakeholders and


hold regular communication briefings and updates with personnel
in the Department of Public Safety.

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21 | The County Executive should develop a list of key stakeholders and hold regular communication
briefings and updates with personnel in the Department of Public Safety.

22 | The County should hold quarterly Public Safety Project Coordination meetings to update all
stakeholders, including non-county entities.

County Critical Incident Response


During critical incident response, there is a need for strong leadership. Despite there being many
skilled workers at the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and the Monroe County Fire Bureau
(MCFB), there needs to be improved leadership taken by the county. Not all public safety stakeholders
understand what county resources are available and how they can be better coordinated and used
efficiently.

Recommendations:

23 | With the departure of the Director of Public Safety, there is a need to maintain continuity in the early
stages of the new administration, however, the County Executive must develop a clear transition plan and
put the most qualified persons into these key emergency management roles.

24 | The County must incorporate better cooperation and coordination and develop a “servant leader”
mindset.

25 | Above all, the promotion of supporting public safety should be for the welfare of the community,
never for political gain.

Public Safety - Governance & Legislation


The following are recommendations regarding topics of governance and/or recommended legislative
issues related to Public Safety and Emergency Services

Recommendations:

26 | Seek to amend or repeal the “Annoyance Law.” While many first responders respect the intent of
the law, the legislation itself was very poorly written, and rushed through the Legislature with minimal
stakeholder or public input. As has been argued, there are existing laws on the books at the state and
local level which may already afford first responders the protection intended. Enforce existing statutes.

27 | Engage the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO Rochester) to expand its programs and
services county-wide to reduce recidivism and increase employment. The CEO Rochester has been
effective since 2010 in reducing recidivism and boosting employment within the City of Rochester.

28 | Establish a Gun Violence Task Force of Monroe County. Using the Opioid Task Force of Monroe
County as a successful model, establish a multi-jurisdictional, multi-disciplinary Task Force to address gun
violence in our community.

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29 | Adopt a zero-tolerance policy on racial bias and unprofessional conduct amongst Public Safety
personnel. Policies and procedures should be reviewed and revamped regarding professional conduct
of public safety officials including, but not limited to: political discourse and expressing opinions of public
officials with external agencies, racially charged comments while performing their official duties.
• Implicit bias education and training should be provided to all county
employees, particularly those who interact with the public regularly.

Emergency Services - Communications


One of the most common failure points in managing any emergency or disaster is a breakdown in
communications (collaboration and coordination). This can be defined in one of three ways: Failure or
limitations of communications technology; Failure to use technology correctly; or, Key players fail to
communicate (share information with others).

Recommendations:

30 | Re-establish and improve an emergency notification and information dissemination system for key
stakeholders for routine preparedness guidance and emergency information.

31 | Re-establish and enhance a comprehensive, inclusive, multi-modal mass notification system to reach
citizens during emergency situations which require an immediate response. The system must be able
to perform multi-lingual, audible, visual, tactile, ADA-compliant tasks, to account for the needs of our
community.

32 | Re-establish and enhance a common operating platform for emergency information sharing,
situational awareness, documentation, resource requests and tracking, etc. The administration should
coordinate with staff in OEM to re-establish and enhance the use of WebEOC, the County’s incident
management system, to maximize situational awareness and information sharing.

33 | Re-establish and enhance a perpetual ongoing Intelligence Section


consisting of key stakeholders to receive, digest and disseminate information
about potential hazards or threats on a regular basis. In some communities,
this is known as a “fusion center” which serves as a clearinghouse of
information gathering and sharing.

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Emergency Services - Staffing, Funding
Levels & Grants Management
Many public safety programs are funded by state and federal grant dollars. 10% of the 2020 Department
of Public Safety budget is grant funded. Currently, County grant management is decentralized and
consumes a large amount of time and energy of department heads, diverting their attention away
from program development and management. Also, Monroe County may be missing out on additional
grant opportunities due to the resource demands needed to apply for and manage the grants being
unsustainable.

Currently, County grant management is decentralized and


consumes a large amount of time and energy of department heads,
diverting their attention away from program development and
management.

Recommendations:

34 | Establish a centralized Public Safety Grants management office. An office staffed by professional
grant managers can focus on seeking new funding opportunities, completing applications (pre-award),
submitting required documentation and deliverables (post-award), and ensuring compliance with laws,
rules, and regulations. Grants management is a specific skill set which many managers do not have.

35 | Conduct a comprehensive audit of staffing levels for all Public Safety programs in relation to
established standards, best practices, and peer benchmarking. The new Administration should perform
a gap analysis and identify strategies for improvement.

36 | Conduct a comprehensive audit of funding levels (including local vs. grant ratios) for all Public Safety
programs in relation to established standards, best practices, and peer benchmarking. Perform a gap
analysis and identify strategies for improvement.

37 | Re-invigorate a comprehensive Local Mitigation Strategy (LMS) and update the Hazard Mitigation
Plan (HMP) under the “whole community” approach.

38 | Add non-traditional stakeholders to the grants process as they may have access to additional funds
which the county/municipalities do not. As appropriate, leverage the contributions and efforts of others
in the community as “matching funds” when needed (e.g. FEMA public assistance and mitigation grants).

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39 | Re-invigorate the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) to best-practice standards. The
County should utilize the LEPC to its fullest potential as compared to best-practices conducted by other
LEPC’s throughout the nation.

“Whole Community” Engagement in


Readiness & Resilience Planning
Readiness for any potential hazards, emergencies and disasters is a shared responsibility. All too
often, there is an over-reliance on government (local, state and federal) to carry the burden of the
entire community. The Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) pioneered the “Whole
Community” approach in 2011, which identified that all community members working together in
preparedness, prevention, protection and mitigation efforts results in a community that is better equipped
to respond effectively to and recover efficiently from disaster impacts (resilience).

Recommendations:

40 | Revive the Council of Governments & engage all municipalities in establishing a common set of
benchmarks for governmental readiness. County government is not the sole proprietor of emergency
response.
• The primary role of the County is to coordinate a unified response. A key factor
in ensuring county-wide readiness is to ensure that the individual municipalities
have adequate plans, policies, procedures, and resources to meet the needs
of their community, as well as potentially assist other communities.

Revive the Council of Governments & engage all municipalities


in establishing a common set of benchmarks for governmental
readiness. County government is not the sole proprietor of
emergency response.

41 | Directly re-engage and incorporate the various non-governmental “whole community” partners
into the County’s Emergency Operations Plan. This will create buy-in to a unified team approach to
preparedness, response and recovery.

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42 | Review and update inter-municipal agreements and mutual aid plans. Any existing mutual aid
plans and agreements between municipalities within Monroe County should be reviewed and updated
accordingly. As appropriate, expand agreements to include broader regional (Western New York/Finger
Lakes) and statewide entities.

43 | Establish an Emergency Readiness & Resilience Advisory Council composed of key stakeholder and
representative citizens.

44 | Reconstitute the local chapter of Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD). VOADs consist
of those well-established national organizations (e.g. American Red Cross, Salvation Army, et al) that have
a chartered mission to provide emergency and disaster relief

45 | Re-engage with our neighbors and peers in the broader emergency management profession and
community.

Emergency Services - Educations & Outreach


First and foremost, the new administration needs prompt education and training on their respective roles,
responsibilities and authorities in the event of an emergency or disaster in the very near future. Secondly,
as an extension of the “whole community” approach to readiness and resilience, compose and conduct
a unified public education campaign to establish a “culture of preparedness” centered on individuals,
families and businesses.

Recommendations:

46 | Conduct training for senior County Administration staff on their roles, responsibilities and authorities
as established in state and local law and the County Emergency Operations Plan. The New York State
Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (NYSDHSES) offers formal Tier 1 and Tier
2 training for elected officials and executive program managers. Similar training should be provided for
other municipal chief executives and their staff.

47 | Via a revived Council of Governments, engage all municipalities in promoting a unified message to
all of the citizens of Monroe County that personal, family and business preparedness is paramount to any
form of government or third-party assistance.

48 | Directly engage and incorporate the various community sectors (NGOs, faith-based, businesses,
etc.) into the comprehensive community education and outreach program. A Joint Information System
(JIS) can be established and tested through the conveyance of preparedness messages as practice for
conveyance of emergency information.

49 | Reengage with the Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) program and participate in the
training of citizen first responders.

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Administration

We can restore a vision of creativity and collaboration to county


government. Our community deserves a government as good as
its people. One that lifts people up and fosters an environment
where every hardworking family can grow and thrive. Because
no matter who you are, where you live, or who you know, you
deserve the very best from those who serve you.

Adam Bello, July 19th, 2019

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Vision Statement
Administrative services and infrastructure shall be strategically aligned
with the Comprehensive Master Plan for Monroe County, expertly run
by a diverse staff, operationally guided by clear values and highest-
level ethical practices and deliver efficient and effective support
through consistent application of continuous improvement processes

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Establishing a Robust Culture within the
County Government Reflective of the
Collaboration and Values to which this
Administration is Committed
Over the next few months, the County Executive will assemble a new team
of senior leaders who in turn will make significant changes in the staffing and
organizational structure of County departments. Both the new and current staff
will benefit from clarity about the County Executive’s vision for the culture he hopes
to create within County government.

Recommendations:

1 | Develop and communicate a set of “Guiding Values” that will outline the
culture he hopes to build within the government and be the basis for setting
expectations for County employees. He should hold his senior team accountable for
cascading those values throughout the organization. All Administrative functions must
view the understanding and incorporating of these values into their departments as critical.
• Suggested elements for the Guiding Values: transparency, integrity and accountability, inclusivity
(“the county government should work for everyone”), and sustainability
(“leave the county better for our children and grandchildren”).

The County Executive should prioritize the identification and


evaluation of potential issues that have the highest risk of negatively
impacting public welfare, key county initiatives or critical projects in
order to help the County avoid or mitigate those risks.

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The County Executive should prioritize the identification and evaluation of potential issues that have the
highest risk of negatively impacting public welfare, key county initiatives or critical projects in order to
help the County avoid or mitigate those risks. The Administration Sub-Committee identified four issues
that potentially represent significant risk of loss or disruption to county operations:
• The adequacy of the County’s data security and disaster recovery capabilities
• Management of the Public Safety projects
• Appropriateness of the 2020 budget assumptions in relation to the
Bello Administration’s priorities and financial practice strategies
• The adequacy of the county’s cyber security program

Recommendations:

2 | Charge every new senior leader of County departments with conducting a risk assessment within their
function and reporting to the County Executive, allowing the County Executive to prioritize resources to
address issues that present the highest risk. In addition, the security of the County’s Election processes
should be assessed.

3 | Consider retaining third party experts to assist with the assessment of the most significant potential
high risk issues, including an assessment of the County’s data security and disaster recovery capabilities,
the County’s liability insurance coverage and a CFO-led forensic audit as called for in the campaign
policy announcements.

Community Input and Engagement


The County Executive should regularly get feedback and input from stakeholders, including internal
stakeholders, as a means of fostering accountability, transparency and inclusivity. The new administration
should seize opportunities to better communicate the range of services provided by County government
and promote pride in being members of the community of Monroe County. The County should be fully
engaged with key community initiatives, including efforts to integrate the community social service,
health, education and apprenticeship systems into existing county networks and improving access to
information as strategies to reduce poverty.

The new administration should seize opportunities to better


communicate the range of services provided by County
government and promote pride in being members of the
community of Monroe County.

70
Recommendations:

4 | Establish an on-going Transition Advisory Panel that would continue to advise the Executive
and relevant department heads, providing a sounding board for new ideas for 12-18 months after
inauguration.

5 | Engage with county residents through regular Town Hall meetings, more effective use of social media
and a re-designed web site.

6 | Regularly seek formal feedback from external and internal stakeholders on the quality of its operations
and services.

7 | County Government should play a leading role in the community-wide Systems Integration Project,
particularly through the senior leadership of Information Services (IS), and should explore methods to
more readily share social service data across government entities and community organizations in order
to promote improved services to residents, transparency and better decision-making.

Continuous Improvement of Service and Processes


The County Executive should foster ongoing efforts within all departments to continuously improve
County services, streamline operations and drive efficiencies. Myriad business processes within County
operations, such as the processing of FOIA requests, have the potential to be streamlined or made more
efficient - many through the use of technology.

Recommendations:

8 | Benchmark other County Governments/Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for key
process indicators.

9 | Introduce process improvement methodologies, such as Lean/Six Sigma, through recruitment


of trained experts, and/or prioritizing process improvement skills when recruiting new staff. Since
technology may be a key enabler of process improvement, IS should take a leading role in process
improvement projects.

10 | aLook for opportunities for “quick wins” that could be widely communicated to reinforce the change
in culture; the current staff may be a rich source for ideas.

11 | Make room in future budgets for investments in process and technologies that are projected to have
a positive ROI.

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Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse and Skilled Workforce
The greatest asset available to an incoming administration is its employees, and the administration’s
success is dependent on recruiting, developing and retaining an engaged and skilled workforce.
Monroe County is a large and diverse county, and yet the County government’s work force does not
match the diversity of Monroe County’s population. In addition, years of compensation compression have
created challenges in recruiting and retaining skilled employees. Many department leaders expressed
frustration with an ability to attract and retain workers, particularly for entry-level positions. Often, the
County pays far less than city and town governments, which makes retention difficult as well.

Recommendations:

12 | Diversify participation in County Government by identifying partnership opportunities to publicize


civil service exams, providing training and education on civil service test taking, and creating an in-take
method for people interested in serving on boards/commissions/government-adjacent institutions.

13 | Appoint a chief diversity officer within the HR Department; drive transparency and accountability for
diversity by publishing dashboards of staff and supplier diversity.

. Appoint a chief diversity officer within the HR Department;


drive transparency and accountability for diversity by publishing
dashboards of staff and supplier diversity.

14 | Include NYS Non-discrimination language in county contracts (via


Memorandum of Understanding immediately) and then include in future contracts.

15 | Hold department heads accountable for following recognized practices for talent management,
including developing succession/professional development plans for key staff members; conducting
regular performance reviews for every employee; and analyzing workforce trends, attrition rates, and
hiring practices to identify cost-saving opportunities for positions where turnover/attrition are above
average.

16 | Promote employee engagement by keeping employees informed about important County initiatives,
raising the visibility of senior County leaders among staff, and regularly seeking input from employees
about opportunities for improvement.

17 | Conduct a wage/compensation survey and build near and long-term mitigation strategies, including
funding compensation increases through process improvement projects.

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Opportunities for Shared Services
Given the fragmentation of governmental services and infrastructure among the county and municipal
governments, public authorities, school districts and other government entities, there are significant
opportunities to reduce cost and improve services to county residents through shared services.

Recommendations:

18 | Continue to identify opportunities for shared services (for cost containment and risk mitigation)
utilizing a revived Council of Government structure – County, City and Towns. Explore the potential
consolidation of special districts within County’s control, such as Pure Waters, and sharing technology
investments and services.

. Continue to identify opportunities for shared services (for cost


containment and risk mitigation) utilizing a revived Council of
Government structure – County, City and Towns.

19 | Continue to lead the County-Wide Shared Services Initiative with the objectives of developing
savings and exploring additional opportunities. This should be embraced as an opportunity, not a
mandate from Albany.

20 | With the objective of more effectively and efficiently delivering service to the public, the County
should examine opportunities for collaboration in the provision of administrative services with the various
public authorities, particularly for IT and legal services.

Linking Budget and Resource Decisions to a


Long-Term Strategic Plan
The 2020 budget document lays out Financial Strategies for Monroe County and has a host of
performance measures by department, but there is no clear linkage of metrics and spending to the
strategic goals/metrics. The best financial and infrastructure plans are those that clearly tie to the top
strategies and priorities of the Administration. Having a clear line-of-sight between strategic goals, policy
objectives and the budget required to deliver them provides clarity of purpose and a means to track
accountability.

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Recommendations:

21 | In preparation for the 2021 budget, insure that key strategic goals/critical deliverables have
measurable objectives that are clearly articulated and available for the June-August 2020 budget
planning season.

22 | Chart a path for the long-term financial plan that aligns with the Administration’s principles/values of
governance (e.g. size of fund balance, contingency planning, handling of pension liability, investments,
revenue streams), including capital improvement plans and debt management processes. It is highly
recommended that this plan be formed/informed through benchmarking other high-performing and
innovative Counties.

23 | Demonstrate County’s role regarding community initiatives (e.g. economic development, lack of
skilled labor, Systems Integration Project).

24 | The County should use all legal means and methods to ensure local businesses and local workers
benefit from county procurement. Further, recognizing the proven benefits of using Project Labor
Agreements, the County should commit to utilizing local building trades and local contractors.

The County should use all legal means and methods to


ensure local businesses and local workers benefit from county
procurement.

The Role of Information Services (IS)


The IS Department provides support for all county departments, but its role is very limited in key aspects
of County operations: selecting and implementing new technologies, strategic planning, driving process
improvement and innovation, and establishing priorities and standards for technology investments

Recommendations:

25 | The role of IS should be re-focused from a support service to a key enabler of the County’s
organizational goals.

26 | The IS function should play a key role in the County’s strategic planning. Consideration of how
information technology can enable innovation, improve efficiency and achieve business goals should be
74 integral to the County’s planning processes.
F u l l Tr a n s i t i o n C o m m i t t e e
Wo r k g r o u p Pa r t i c i p a t i o n s
Administration
Bill Ansbrow, Mary Cariola Center Hon. Mitch Gruber, Foodlink/Rochester City Council
Simeon Bannister, Rochester Area Community Foundation Dr. Janice Harbin, Jordan Health
Hon. Kevin Beckford, University of Rochester/Town of Pittsford Council Cynthia Herriot, Rochester Housing Authority
Robert Bergin, Office of Congressman Joseph Morelle Chris Hilderbrant, Rochester Spinal Association
Marlene Bessette, Catholic Family Center (Co-Chair) Ronora James, Ora's Place/CSEA Voice
Andrew Brady, XLR8 Lisa Lewis, Catholic Family Center
Tom Fink, Davidson Fink, LLP Candace Lucas, St Joseph's Neighborhood Center
Dr. Cecilia Golden, Rochester City School District, Retired Dr. Thomas Mahoney, Common Ground Health
Alex Hipolito, Assemblymember Harry Bronson’s Office Larry Marx, The Children's Agenda
Bruce Jones, Excellus BCBS Jody Manly, Mt. Hope Family Center
Larry Knox, 1199 SEIU Pete Nabozny, The Children’s Agenda
LaRhonda Leonard, Excellus BCBS Wade Norwood Common Ground Health (Co-Chair)
David Long, University of Rochester Kathy Parrinello, University of Rochester Medical Center
Dan Maloney, Rochester Genesee Valley Labor Federation Angelica Perez Delgado, Ibero American Action League
David Mihalyou, SUNY Brockport Peter Robinson, University of Rochester Medical Center
Joe Martino, Education Success Network Deb Rosen, Bivona Child Advocacy Center
Pattie McCarthy, former Monroe County County Clerk Val Snipe , United Way of Greater Rochester
Jim McConeghy, Signet Management Hugh Thomas, Rochester Regional Health
Angela Panzarella, YWCA of Rochester (Co-Chair) Sheree Toth , Mt Hope Family Center
Erika Rosenberg, Center for Government Research Marie Viavattine, Willow Domestic Violence Center
Bess Watts, retired local President, CSEA (Co-Chair) Bridgette Wiefling, Rochester Regional Health
Anne Wilder, CCSI
Economic & Community Development Karen Zandi, Mary Cariola Center
Marty Birmingham, Five Star Bank
Dan Burns, M&T Bank Infrastructure & Sustainability
Dr Leonard Brock, United Way/RMAPI Jacques Chapman, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 282
Julie Camardo, Zwiegle's Tony DiPerna, Rochester Building & Construction Trades Council (Co-Chair)
Lomax Campbell, City of Rochester Jim Stack, Genesee Transportation Council
Alex Castro, PathStone Corporation (Co-Chair) Jim Howe, The Nature Conservancy
Blu Cease, Rochester Contemporary Arts Center Norman Jones, City of Rochester (Co-Chair)
Mark Cohen, Greater Rochester Chamber Commerce Robert Kiley, Town of Irondequoit
Vinnie Esposito, NYS Empire State Development, Corp Kate McArdle, NYS Pollution Prevention Institute
Lauren Gallina, Gallina Development Thomas Mitchell, Bergmann Associates
Matt Hurlbutt, Greater Rochester Enterprise Dr. Nabil Nasr, RIT Golisano Institute for Sustainability (Co-Chair)
Lauren Kelly, Charter Communications Hon. Kimie Romeo, Town of Irondequoit
Mike Kennerknect, University of Rochester Pamela Reed Sanchez, Seneca Park Zoo Society
Michele Liddle, The Perfect Granola Anne Spaulding, City of Rochester
Nichole Malec, Constellation Brands Liam Smith, Rochester Youth Climate Leaders
Roosevelt Mareus, Brockport Rochester Educational Opportunity Center Karen St Aubin, City of Rochester
(Co-Chair) Maria Vecchio, Town of Irondequoit
Teresa Mazzullo, Excell Partners David Zorn, Genesee Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council
Baye Muhammad, City of Rochester
Aaron Newman, CloudCheckr Public Safety & Justice
John Pitton, Bank of America Hon. Todd Baxter, Monroe County Sheriff (Co-Chair)
Bruce Popper, 1199, Retired Isaac Bliss, Quad A for Kids
Joe Sayre, Simon School Korey Brown, Monroe County Undersheriff
Judy Seil, Five Star Bank Michael Cerretto, City of Rochester’s Emergency Communications
Jim Senall, NextCorps Department
Todd Oldham, Monroe Community College Veronica Dasher, Rochester Gas & Electric
Tyrone Reaves, TruForm Manufacturing Mike Dobberton, Rochester Fire Department
Victor Sanchez, Wegmans Sarah Dumrese, Mothers Out Front
Mark Siwiec, Mark Siwiec Realty Group Samuel Farina, Chief, Fairport Police Department
Naomi Silver, Rochester Red Wings Baseball (Co-Chair) Sheila Gaddis, Volunteer Legal Services Project
Norm Silverstein, WXXI Jon Getz, Vahey and Getz LLP
Joe Stefko , ROC2025 Ron Harling, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
Dawn Taubman, Harris Corp Hon. Lashay Harris, Rochester City Council
Matthew Tipple, JP Morgan Chase Hon. Willie Lightfoot, Vice President, Rochester City Council (Co-Chair)
Paul Miller, Rochester Airport Firefighters
Human Services Thomas Morrisey, Monroe County Clerk’s Office
Kendall Bell, Federation of Social Workers Mark Muoio, Legal Aid Society of Rochester
Alberty Blankley, Common Ground Health Carla Palumbo, Legal Aid Society of Rochester (Co-Chair)
Marcus Bliss, United Way of Greater Rochester Michael Pollock, Brighton Ambulance
Rev. Derrill Blue, AME Zion Church Kristen Porpora, Legal Aid Society of Rochester
Kim Brumber, East House Fred Rion, former-Monroe County OEM
Paul Caccamise, Lifespan of Greater Rochester Charlie Salina, United States Marshall’s Office
Jackie Campbell, The Children's Agenda Brian Shiffrin, Easton, Thompson, Kasperek and Shiffrin
Jennifer Cathy, United Way of Greater Rochester Rich Verdouw, Monroe County Radio Center
Meaghan de Chateauvieux, Willow Domestic Violence Center (Co-Chair)
Ann Marie Cook, Lifespan of Greater Rochester (Co-Chair)
Josh Farrelman, University of Rochester Medical Center